The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 8 months ago

Growth Mindset Tactics to Build Your Team

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

It’s one thing to embrace change personally, but it’s another thing altogether to bring people along with you in your growth mindset. Want to learn how?

In this episode, I interview Talia Esskandanian , Director, Inside Sales at Voltus, Inc ., about leadership, growth, culture, and change. 

Join us as we discuss:

Talia’s newfound passion for the energy industry

Hiring for core values and strategic interview questions

Overcommunication and other coaching tips

Building a growth mindset into your team

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts , on Spotify , or on our website .

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Welcome to the sales engagement podcast. This podcast is brought to you by outreach, the leading sales engagement platform, and they just launched outreach on outreach, the place to learn how outreach well does outreach? Learn how the team follows up with every lead in record time after virtual events and turns them into revenue. You can also see how outreach runs account based plays, manages reps and so much more using their own sales engagement platform. Everything is backed by data pulled from outreach processes and customer base. When you're done, you'll be able to do it as good as they do. Head to outreach that io on outreach to see what they have going on. Now let's get into today's episode. Hello everyone, and welcome back to another episode of the sales engagement podcast. My name is brick Pachesta and I'm one of your hosts here at the Sep. When I'm not hosting this podcast, I leave Xtr enablement, that outreach that I oh. I'm super thrilled to be here today and joined by Tallya ESCANADIAN director of inside sales from Boltis. Today will be talking about building teams and growing your culture with a growth mindset so Talia, thank you for joining us. How are you today? I'm doing great. Thanks for having Ma'am super excited, huge fan of the podcast. To so nice house. If so, tell us. Tell us about yourself. I know you kind of new ash job just started, coming up on a year to congratulations. For those who may not be familiar, what is Voltas do and what's your role there now? Yes, I help lead the inside Sales Seema Volta. So voltas has primary mission is to unlock the value of distributed energy resources. We are involved in demand response. So demand response or programs designed to help balance the supply and demand of the grid. So we have our customers get paid to curtail or energy usage during grid emergency's so mitigating. But yeah, it's we variable cause, yeah, very literally save lives. It's I mean so, especially with all the recent weather events. Now it really shines a light on how dire it is that we ensure. Yeah, you know, global energy challenges are our met a hundred percent. And the inside sales steam like. Who are they calling on? Usually commercial and industrial customers, so really large energy users. So cold storage, healthcare facilities, wastewater treatment plants, things of that nature. Interesting and did you have a background and energy before you got into this role? No, I had literally no knowledge of any energy, you know verbiage. I am in Texas, and so when we had the crazy, we called it snow apocalypse in February us, that was very, yeah, very scary. And now was the first time I'd heard about her cought and demand response, and that was actually when they reached out to me and I was like, HMM, this is curiously yeah, and I'm, you know, a big advocate of sustainability and and I found that the mission was just aligned with something that I wanted to do, something that I'm innately interested in. So it's been a great fit so far. It's actually only been about three months, so not even Oh God, way off. It's okay, it's okay. It feels like you are. Huh. Yeah, I've lost track of time in the pantic. I don't know what day it is where I am there. That's really cool. So, like, so, when they reached out to you, was there a specific initiative that you were brought on to accomplish? Yeah, yeah, so I came on board after our series be funding with the expectation that myself and the other sales leaders would help scale the team's and work on building a more repeatable sales process really across the entire organization. So we have super have two goals.

After any other company, right, like, no matter how flushed out your plan is, if you don't have the right people in place, it's you know, you might as well pack up and go home. So I'm here to build, build, build, cool. It's like the dream job for every sales leader, right to build something from the ground up and do it exactly the way you want to. That's pretty awesome. Yeah, it was great. It's definitely something that I was seeking in my job search anyways. So, yeah, super comfortable in that space. Love it, thrive on it also. Yeah, and in order to build any team, scale the process and people, you have to are a lot of great people. And with hiring I find that a lot of times, like the topic of culture comes up. So not only are they qualified, but do they pass the culture test? And we all know that culture test does not mean the beer test or like we get it, you know, hang out with them a happy oh well, that's a nice perk. We got to make sure that they fit in with the company and your value. So like, could you tell me about, like what's the culture revoltis like when you're working for fects? Yeah, yeah, it's definitely one that I've never seen in my lifetime. There's one of the driving factors that got me to leave video security and surveillance. I tolist everybody when they ask like why Woltest, but I was interviewing actually with a couple different companies and I wanted to stay kind of in the text bace and and that was where my where I thought my passion was, was driven towards. At every hiring manager I talked to and sales later, you could just feel the burn out right and you can't blame them. Obviously I was in the same boat. Part of the catalysts why I was looking right and as soon as I started meeting with voltest leaders, you could just feel the difference. They started speaking about it and the energy and love within the team, which is something they really yeah and talk through, was palpable. Everyone was really fostering this environment of inclusivity and empowerment. One of their pillars is speaking truth to power, and so we talked a lot about that or coming on board and just making sure that people feel heard and not necessarily dismissed, which is it's harder to find, you know, when you're in larger companies, because you might have great ideas or concerns and maybe it falls on deaf ears, maybe not. Yeah, that volt is. It very much is like a collective discussion every every really cool. Yeah, yeah, tell me more about that. Like how do you do? You just seek out folks who are like? Is that part of what you're looking for? Like, are they comfortable having difficult conversations, or is it we bring people and we teach them how to do those things, or a little of both? It's probably a little of both, I would say. If you'd asked US question six months ago, we're very different, like the kind of profile that I look for. Oh, I want to come back to that. Yeah, but yeah, during the interview process we talk about right, gritty and good, which are sort of like the three indicators to us. It's what we look for in every candidate, no matter what level, and it's basically bright, is, you know, uncommonly smart, intellectually curious, gritty. We all know right, like manily self, initiated, doing any everything to get it done, to blow your numbers out of the water setting these really high standards and then good. It is very literally like are you loving? Do you are you in Natel like that? Yeah, do you have a positive allic? I'm live. Are you honest or you supportive? And so we usually tend to kind of dig deeper and the interview process to see, you know, where do you rank those in the importance of who you are and and in your work? And it's so interesting because there's no real right answer, but you need to see how people sort of think through that and even internally it's it's something that we discuss regularly and as we're going through the interview. But that's those are kind of what we great people on. Is like, are they bright? Are they gritty? Are they neatly good? Usually they're all innately good. So, you know, would...

...hope so. Right. Yeah, yeah, that's awesome. Okay, so going back to you said six months ago your criteria was different, like tell me more about that. Yeah, you know, I was in a larger corporation, different industry. I was looking for people that would just come in and do the work and excel and and I was very fortunate. I mean I had a amazing team. My previous previous company. But I really find purpose in my work, at least building others and kind of leveling up their career. Someone took a chance on me years ago and I had no experience and had no business acumen. Right and six months ago I wanted, like lk, I know, two to three years of sales experience minimum and bring them in and see if they could do it and then we'll figure out where to put them. And now it's very much how do people think? Do you have that innate drive and passion to do well? And how I provide that tool kit for them to be successful. So Volta says has really changed my mindset on profiles and half of the team it's their first job, never done sales, didn't know each oh wow, yeah, and they are absolute killers. And then a portion of them do have sales experience and just how to learn the industry and they're also doing phenomenal so there is no one size fits all. I think that's just true for all sellers, inside or build. But yeah, that's usually it's funny. I'm always shocked by how many inside sellers will call me whenever I am hiring, which, by the way, I am hiring. There you go. Cold calling works, but yeah, and I barely receive any and I'm baffled by it. I was like, Oh man, I just felt about so gritty. Right, you just pick up the phone, like hey, Solim right, yeah, like my numbers online or whatever you're using. Definitely has it writing you, prospect MMM. So, yeah, yeah, I hope that I answers the question. Yeah, so it sounds like you just kind of shifted your perspective to like not only how are they going to fit in, but like how am I going to be able to they amplify their career and their opportunities here, and sounds like a lot of folks were really early, early stage in their career and very green, which is exciting and I think there's a lot of fun energy that comes with that. I Love Them. I love them all. So you have like eight in your interviews that I you're you're qualifying folks for. They bright, are they gritty or they good? But do you have an interview question you like to ask folks every time or like something that you're trying to you personally just like the suss out? Yes, so I got this from a former colleague of mine. She was amazing and she calls it the stress level question. HMM, basically is on a scale of one to ten, how do you handle stress? Okay, so people are usually like, oh, you know, it's it's either super low on the scale or super high. And Yeah, there's probably not a lot of people who are like a five. Yeah, exact in the middle, exactly. And, like I said, there is no real answer. Mean I look for a specific answer, but I'm going to keep that tucked away for now. Fair, you can tell your older guards close to your vest. Yeah, but it gives you kind of inside and how they think about stress, how they manage it and, you know, being able to manage dress just in general, but especially, you know, with a sales job is so yeah, at a higher growth company where it's like the stakes are very real. Yeah, it's it's dynamic, it's always moving, it's things will change right when you get comfortable. So I feel like, you know, I definitely don't want to hear one or two tells me probably just aren't stressed enough to get it done. Yeah, but also I want people to take, you know, mental health seriously and obviously that's been a big conversation totally in general. So it's like, you know, how do you manage your stress? And...

...talk me through that. And Yeah, that's probably my favorite one because it I think maybe their explanation is what is really telling to me. And then from there, you know, we'll see if they're bussing me or not right when they're for sure. And like on the topic of mental health, I mean for a lot of folks, especially for those Whit's their first job in sales, I mean that's a big hill to climb just from like the mental capecit managing your emotional capacity and the ups and downs of the sales job just super important to call out. And I remember on that topic, I was asked this interview question which, when they told me why they ask that, I thought was really interesting. They said, tell me about your worst travel experience, because if somebody's like, oh, they lost my bag and that was the end of my trip, you're like, Oh boy, this is not going to be a good fit for you. But then you know, if folks are able to describe like was a total disaster, but fl I cancel, I had to figure it out, but I still had a great time, it's like you'll probably do all right. It's very ambiguous. Great, I actually might use that. You really should go for it. Colors when they travel, I will say that right. Stressful, you're hungry, tired, you're stubborn, your family and a small, small, confined spaces. Oh, that's good, I'm using it. Yeah, feel free to use it. And it sounds like gold is already has such a an impact, like really strong culture of like people come in and like everybody's bought into it. But have you gone anywhere where you felt like you wanted to change the culture or you're having to make incremental impact to it to make it fit? I don't know, may be more inclusive or whatever. Oh yeah, definitely I am. I was fortunate enough to lead a couple different teams internationally and it was amazing because you got to see, you know, how business is done, but also how the people are right hmm, and I had a lot of great leaders who were in place that were very in tune with what's going on on the floor, figuratively and literally. But covid I think, was my biggest catalyst of like sort of stepping out of this kind of higher level strategic work and force me to sort of get back to the basics, which is people. Yeah, I listen to a lot of sales podcast by. Listen to one early on in the pandemic and obviously was talking about, you know, going remote. At the time we were in the office. Then we went remote and how to maintain the culture. But also they use this Marie and twinet analogy and I don't want to mess it up so I'm not going to say the whole thing, but essentially know what I'm sure. So okay, I essentially it's like the people were saying we're hungry or hungry, were starving and they were telling her and she said I'll just feed them cake, and it was sort of this lens of sometimes, you know, the higher you get, the more far removed you are with what really is going on and you can't really help solution anything. So my team went from being very structured and I don't want to say militant and a negative way, but you know there's sometimes worried about your head of typeship exactly worried about the performance job security, especially you know, during the pandemic, and we were trying to kind of move them towards, you know, thinking a little outside the box understanding they needed to tap into their strengths, not only as individuals but really as a team, to help kind of get over the line. So we tried to do a lot of like virtual team building. We did an occasional offsite, not during the pandemic but a little bit before and bit after, and we were talked about everything. Right, like how you feeling power things happening in the outside world impacting you? So obviously covid Blm like it was, you know, a plan things internationally. Really no shortage of stressors, it's true. Yes, and we created this sort of a little family and safe space, and we never let anything linger for too long. I'm a big proponent of just overcommunic a huge general yeah, it's my poor husband. He's like, all right, it's important. Right. So you don't let the mind the linger for too long and want under and yeah,...

...especially for sales. I feel like we're very highly emotional people in general. All the caveat, and not everybody, but yes, so I always say, like it's okay to feel a little shitty and sad and angry and whatever, but do not sit in it, like do not sit in it. It will just mess up your whole week, your month, your corner like feel it, get over it, or work through it rather, and then we move on on to the next. So right, yeah, although we were part of this sort of huge machine, the team felt very cohesive, very small, very familiar, like familial. I you know, I still see them to this day, like we'll go, you know, have a drink or do a virtual thing. So Nice. Yeah, I mean it's it was truly a family dynamic and definitely Voltus is the same way, which is great. I love everybody on the team. So yeah, yeah, and to your point about like making sure that people don't linger in things, it's so hard to like conflict resolution when you're remote and trying to communicate with like a really serious topic of resume or the phone is just the worst. I've yes, yeah, we don't. Can Get their feedback, you? I can't. You can only read their body language from like their Chin Up. Yeah. So was there any like instances in which he felt like okay, like here is an example of like we were able to work for something really difficult, and here's how I was able to coach my team, because I think the communication piece is so huge to just grow a team. For sure. Oh Yeah, I I'm definitely obviously regular oneonon's, of course, and just always kind of being available. But I found that, you know, always leading with metrics, which was sort of my m for years and years and years, which I'm a still a big believer in. It doesn't have to be every meeting right, like literally just asking the questions, like letting them talk, letting them think through their own solutions, but certainly a I had to personally kind of switch my lens and think like, okay, when I was in that seat, did I feel comfortable enough to advise or say this without right? That's sort of reparations and and so I make it very clear from the get go and I try to be, you know, somewhat vulnerable, like you know, this is what I went through and this is how I overcame it. Or I've been in your shoes and I know what that feels like. This is what I did, like talk me through what you want to do. So I feel like the team that I had before in the team now they tend to respond better to that just because, like I said, new were in in their work career and they they just want to be heard. They want to feel like what they're doing meaningful and they're not just a number on a leaderboard. So I'm very keen on, like I said, overcommunicating and exceeding performance. But you know they're not musually exclusive, right. Yeah, you can talk through that and I think it's so easy to focus on, like when you're in that high growth mode of like, okay, the metrics we got, like do we what? How? How far did we exceed our number this month? And that becomes the sole focus and it is really easy and like, whatever your quote, if it's a monthly quart or whatever, just to get caught in that cycle and not take time for breaks or to check in on folks. But it sounds like you got a really good cadence of just like, you know, making sure that the people who are on the team were okay and like checking in on them and using one onons, not just for pipeline reviews or forecast, which is okay. Like how are you as a human doing situation? Absolutely, absolutely. I wish I would have had that more when I was on the up and up, but for the most part I have really great leaders. But yeah, sometimes it's just even asking how you are will change. Yeah, the whole buyer and it mean it sounds like you yourself. Just you know, you are so bought into this idea of growth mindset and like roll them with the punches and just existing and thriving and ambiguity. was there like an instance or a series of events in your own professional career that you feel taught you that, or have you always been like that? How did you pick that up? Yeah, yeah, I think it was about...

...to. I was the first inside seller at my previous organsize, very much the Guinea pig for everything, right process to night school, and I was first job, well, I guess first real big job, and it shaped me in a way that I wasn't fully aware of until I got older, because I grew to not know anything else. So I really enjoyed and thriving, like being the only person and just like constantly going in uncharted territory. Exactly. Yeah, so that's where I felt I could make the most impact and I really enjoyed like the dynamic, agile functions of what I was doing. And then, you know, when stabilize, it's more of like okay, I did that job, like what now? What's a new territory or a new rage? Right, so it were forced to as well, because it was like where, like I get to work, I might want to find things to keep myself busy, ha ha, yeah, exactly, and I'm not one to just stagnate, right. So I yeah, I've always been super comfortable with change and I think what I had to really lean into was more of the change management piece of just like how do I get other people bought it in like this? How do I get them excited for something now? So or, you know, the last of five, six years, when it was going through companies being bought and acquiring others and merging teams, it was very much just like we're in it all for one right, or this makes sense and this is why. And I think once people understand kind of the holistic view, they seem more inclined to kind of move towards it, so of just looking down the tunnel of what's right in front of them. So goes back to overcommunicating. Always totally we I know this the theme of this Podcast, is it? Yeah, we're even like when I'll go ahead. I said, yeah, we got to change the title. We see, Yah, we certainly can. And even thinking about like building process because as elite, like when you're a rep you're right, like you're just constantly and they're like, okay, I'm going to find new things, I'm going to like hold my craft, find all these other things. But as you're building a process, it could be really tricky to plan for things. I like you just unexpected events or like changes in the markets. Like how do you think about as the leader of this whole inside sales team, you can only plan for so much. For How do you think about building process or preparing your people so that when things change, because they always do, there's not this feeling of whiplash and then people feeling just like exhausted from change management? You know what I mean? Yeah, absolutely. I think getting the right people involved early on helps. So some you know, individual contributors just being part of the process. They turn into sort of the champions for you. HMM. But additionally, it's understood up front like this is something that we're trying to sort out and it's going to be sort of an ongoing refinement. So sort of setting that precedents up from within, like yeah, this is the minimum viable product. It's going to do you, why and Z and as we have these ad hoc things, will adjust the approach and then, I think once people feel once again empowered to advise, like hey, this isn't working, let's do this. I do make sure, though, that side from engineering, right, like we're not testing something or working on something for it to break, like we're not trying to break it, we're trying to test the how it will help get us to where we're going with what we have. So I think people tend to push back and, you know, say no more often than yes when they're asked to do something different. So I talked through like why, why is this a hard note for you, like how we thought about this, how we considered this, and I sort of I don't want to say force, but I've for to think about, like I said, bigger picture, like is this really is important for you? Yeah, said a blocker. Is it really going...

...to be an issue, or is it just a small tweak and adjustment that has, you know, huge and very quick impact? So I think explicit up front expectation setting and then getting your champions involved throughout the whole process. Yeah, like I've seen it help a lot with many tools like sense. Yeah, yeah, I can be tricky, right when you're like look, here's the deal, our job is to execute on this plant. T happening, so we got to get on board. Yeah, I like just for any nice way. Yeah, I don't care how you get there, just get there. This is what I'm giving you to help you. If you don't use it, you'll see, you'll see it takes a bit longer for you to get to the end zone. So usually we are pretty after a while they're like, okay, this makes sense and then they can't imagine their life without it. Good deal. Well, that two last questions for you before we close out, and the first one is like, okay, so I know you're working on scale, but it looks like, the top of mine, big specific project that you're super excited about at work right now. Well, I'm a little biased, but we actually just recently the play outreach sales and folks, I didn't even ask her to say that. Yes, you can send it to my directing my mouth it is. Yeah, I used it in my previous role. I've I've seen a lot of sales enablement tools and dialers and things like that and, like I said earlier, building that repeatable sales process is so critical in startup mode and when you're growing exponentially, just how to replicate a successful rep over and over and over and over again, and the rip of time is much shorter. So I am a big Fan. I've been working on this for, I guess, the last quarter, my entire skinless, but I'm very excited for that. There's some other kind of business, business and corporate mission directions that we are going and adjusting, but more to come on that one. But yeah, so far reasons, is my biggest pride. Enjoy the moment. It's going to be awesome, I'm sure. Yes, and on a personal front, like what's Your Passion Project? Anything you got cooking for the rest of the year? We're like, this is my it all of your spare time, I'm sure, but this is my what I'm not working gets mesycked. Yes, so I recently bought a house. Congratulations, thank you, thank you. We moved in in February and we have gutted the entire thing. So whoa. Yeah, time, three minute hour. It's I watched a lot of HGTV DIY Ren. You're doing yourself. I'm doing a portion of it myself, but yeah, it's it's very labor intensive, but I'm learning a lot I'm learning what I'm not good at, MMM, and what I would like to be better at and or just pay somebody else to help out. So my husband and I'm just yeah, we've done a lot of home di I have read. Yeah, what's your what's your forte? Are you demo electrical plumbing? You know, surprisingly enough, demoing? It is so much easier to break things down than to build them up. What I'm here through that. So it's really I thrive. I thrive smashing seat rock. But yeah, that I would say. That's my favorite. Think my husband's very he's a network engineer, and so he just yeah, he likes fiddling with electrical and measuring things out and all of that. So, okay, nice, go for it. Go for it, man, where's the hand? You balance each other out. Well, yeah, awesome. Well, thank you so much for a time to day tell. I was a pleasure to chat with you. If folks were listening would like to get in touch with you, what's the best way for them to find you? Yes, you can find...

...me on linked in, Tallya ESCNDONIAN. You can email me at Teskendonian at boltest DOT COO, and I'm not going to give you my phone number. Hopefully somebody looks go to find it, but that you can figure it out. I'm sure, yeah, can find me. Awesome. Well, yes, here it here, folks. She is hiring, got an awesome team. Sounds like an incredible culture and if you got a growth mindset and look in make an impact on your career, check out bolt. Yeah, all right. Thank this was another episode of the sales engagement podcast. To help this get in front of more eyes and ears, please leave us a shining five star review. Join US at sales engagementcom for new episodes. Resources in the book on sales engagement. To get the most out of your sales engagement strategy, make sure to check out outreached out ioh, the leading sales engagement platform. See you on the next episode.

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